The project, titled The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special in 3-D On Ice, is scheduled to start shooting at San Diego ComicCon next week. Despite its title, it will be neither in 3D nor on ice. Combining interviews with cast and crew and fans from around the world Spurlock hopes to create a look at how the show became a global phenomenon.
According to the short interview at the Wall Street Journal, it sounds as if the project is going to be more of a television special rather than a theatrical release. (“…if there were 3-D glasses for everyone at home.”) Spurlock states that Simpsons producers Jim Brooks and Al Jean approached him with the project based on their admiration for his previous documentaries Supersize Me and Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden?.
While Spurlock is a talented filmmaker, I can’t say that I’m really looking forward to this. Many of the documentaries that I’ve seen about fandom, such as Trekkies or Otaku Unite, never really dig too deep into the their subjects, instead focusing on their surface eccentricities. While that’s entertaining, it is akin to cinematic junk food in that there’s not much in the way of nutritional value. And while there may be a wealth of material to mine here, I can’t shake the feeling that this seems more like a glorified DVD extra than a subject for a feture-length documentary. I would welcome being wrong though.